Major Thoroughfare Plan

The Major Thoroughfare Plan (MTP) is part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. It identifies the location for major roads within the San Antonio city limits and its extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ). The MTP assures an adequate future transportation network that moves people, goods, and services in an optimal and efficient manner through right-of-way dedication for future roads. The MTP was adopted by City Council through Ordinance No. 49818 on September 21, 1978. The MTP has been amended several times through the years to calibrate and realign the thoroughfares along with development of the greater San Antonio metropolitan area. The MTP is generally built as development occurs.

In determining the location and alignments of major thoroughfares, the MTP utilized existing roadways to the extent possible with consideration given to topographical constraints, such as flood plains, retention dams, and other obstacles. In cases where proposed arterial roads are located in flood plains, determination was made based upon the need for the roadway as a linkage in the system and the practicality of acquiring right-of-way for an alternate route, versus the extent of the bridge work required to improve and upgrade an existing road.


Owners of land which abut an existing or planned major thoroughfare who wish to develop or redevelop such land are required to dedicate to the City the amount of right-of-way specified in the MTP. Right-of-way dedication is primarily dedicated to the City through platting. Depending on the size of the proposed development, construction of the major thoroughfare may be required. Rough proportionality will determine what if any improvements are required. In practice this can lead to a disjointed, segmented arrangement of road segments, rather than a cohesive system. If not required to be built as development occurs the MTP may be built through a bond initiative.

NOTE: Since 2017, the Transportation Department has processed a total of 15 amendment applications that have been approved by City Council.


The Master Development Plan (MDP): The MDP is a conceptual development plan that showcases the overall view for a proposed project. The MDP is used to determine if the proposed development is in compliance with current regulations and the City's Master Plan. A MDP is required in all instances when a tract of land within the City or its Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) requests subdivision plat approval in which the entire property will be subdivided in two or more plat phases or units. These types of projects are designed to be platted over a number of years. A MDP may depict the alignment of an existing or planned major thoroughfare, but the right-of-way of the road will not be dedicated until platting takes place. A MDP will also depict the alignments of collectors and local streets and demonstrate how such subordinate streets will feed into the arterial roadways.

MTP Amendments

An amendment is necessary whenever the adopted MTP alignment is proposed to be moved or modified such that the proposed alignment affects any new property owners or impacts already affected property owners, or when a segment is being removed. Generally, the MTP alignment can be adjusted by way of platting within an already affected property without a MTP amendment. However, if a neighboring property is affected by an actual realignment, a MTP amendment will be required prior to providing the MTP right-of-way dedication.

  • A MTP amendment may be recommended if the current alignment:
  • is not consistent with the adopted Comprehensive Plan;
  • goes through an established platted residential neighborhood or other long standing existing development;
  • is unrealistic based on engineering studies that take into account topographic or other environmental constraints, turning radii, steep slopes, and/or traffic demand modeling for future demand based on any existing and future development; and/or
  • proposes to create a public health or safety problem

Amendment Timeline

Each MTP request is unique and will be considered individually. Generally, the process to amend the MTP takes four months or longer. The steps for an amendment are as follows:

  1. Present the amendment at MTP Committee meeting. The MTP Committee may need to meet more than once to make a recommendation.
  2. Schedule a Public Information meeting for adjacent property owners.
  3. Present amendment to the Planning Commission Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).
  4. Present amendment to the Planning Commission.
  5. Present the amendment to City Council for approval.

NOTE: Planning Commission is a recommending body to City Council. City Council has the final say for approval or denial of the request.